Council puts brakes on Norco speed limit changes

... and tables proposal that would allow a Killona landfill to grow by 70 acres

May 23, 2007 at 11:57 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

St. Charles Parish Council members agreed to table two proposals at a regular bi-monthly meeting - an ordinance to decrease speed limits in Norco, and a proposal to give a company permission to expand a landfill in Killona.

“Before we agree to take steps to change the speed limits for all these streets, we need to do some more homework,” Councilman Lance Marino said.

“We need to find out how much it will cost to replace the signs on all of these streets, how many complaints were received from the sheriff’s office, if any, regarding people speeding through the neighborhood, and if the residents are unhappy with the speed limit as it is right now.”

Councilman Richard Duhe, who introduced the ordinance, agreed.

“I’ve met with the Norco Civic Association and they do have some concerns about walkers and joggers trying to exercise and people racing through certain streets not following the 25 mile per hour speed signs,” he continued.

“We need to lower this - no matter what the costs - for the safety of our residents.”

The streets included in the ordinance are: Washington Street, Wildrose Drive, Cathey Street, Diamond Road, Marino Drive, Clayton Street, Clayton Drive, Barreca Street, Spruce Street, Sirs Lane, Payne Street, Honeysuckle Drive, and Cedar Drive.

Greg Bush, public works director for St. Charles Parish, said it would cost $7,000 to replace the signs. He recommended a “traffic analysis” before any changes are made.

“I think we need to get a traffic analysis done before we make any changes and have to pay extra money to put up new speed-limit signs,” Bush said.

The second proposal that got tabled would give Killona Ventures LLC, a construction-debris landfill, a “special-use permit” for a 70-acre expansion.

Councilman Desmond Hilaire, whose district includes the area, said the company has never been cited for an environmental violation.

But council members asked for more information about the site - and Councilman Barry Minnich said it smells bad.
Hilaire countered: “I haven’t had any complaints from residents about the smell.”

In other business, council members approved motions to:

- Allow the St. Charles Herald-Guide to continue to run legal notices.
- Increase the pay for members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, Civil Service Board and Housing Authority from $40 per meeting to $60.
- Allow the issuing of $100 million of industrial revenue bonds to Renewable Energy Group Destrehan LLC to build a biodiesel plant in St Rose.

The company needs parish approval to issue the bonds in order to qualify for state and federal tax benefits. The company is responsible for repaying the bonds.
The council must vote on the matter twice more before the bonds are sold and the deal is final.

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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